Our exquisitely designed body is a miracle of life and one of the most amazing aspects of that design is the ability of the body to self regulate. What I mean by that is – the body can turn on a system or turn off a system in less than a blink of an eye! The body has checks and balances for every system or biochemical process. One moment you can be meditative and sedate, the next moment you could be in full alert mode if you hear your baby cry. Think of driving and having a near miss situation – you have gone from nearly a hypnotic state (driving can often alter our brain wave pattern this way) to one where we are feeling anxious, shaken, and have a bounding heart beat in a single moment! What you are experiencing is the body’s elaborate Yin/Yang. One of these essential feedback processes is the parasympathetic (PSS) and sympathetic system (SS) – relaxed and rejuvenated or fight or flight.
This life saving system can be enhanced or altered depending on how you train it or live your life. Stress can keep you in the fight or flight mode (sympathetic) and drain you of vitality and energy. Now, you need to invoke this side of the physiologic coin to be alert, responsive, and engaged, but too much activation of this system can leave us fatigued and washed out. We often promote the activation of the sympathetic system with sugar, energy drinks, and fast moving lifestyles – OK, for short periods, but in order to be healthy, we need balance. Our adrenal glands secrete hormones like norepinephrine and epinephrine that rev up our alertness and systems, often in lifesaving ways, but as above, too much of any unopposed sympathetic stimulation can leave us exhausted. We can help our body out by avoiding fast release sugars, energy drinks, and the like, but still be able to support healthy alertness and energy by providing natural products that give a slower released substrate our body can modulate during the activity period of our day (yep, thinking of my fellow shift workers). Additionally, supplementing our bodies with premium nutrition; high quality fats and proteins, vitamins, and minerals, can support health and balance.
Getting restorative sleep or downtime is also key to a healthy lifestyle. During sleep, meditation, post-exercise states, hot relaxing showers, we oppose the sympathetic system with the activation parasympathetic side of our figurative coin. Even taking several minutes in the middle of our busy lives to stimulate the PSS, we can create an opportunity for the SS to recover and build up the building blocks of the hormones and body chemicals needed to keep us at a state of optimum alertness and balanced energetics. Certainly, this all depends on giving our body the right fuel and nutrition to do it’s amazing work. So, eat right, add quality supplements to your healthy regimen, get your body moving regularly, meditate, or even take a moment to look at something beautiful and natural! Balance your body to enjoy all of its incredible Yin and Yang!